I dreamt I was walking. I was walking along a narrow lane, in a large, open urban area – almost a park like setting. After passing the park and entering an urban square, I came upon some people: A man, a woman and an elderly lady with them, who were prostrate towards a nearby building.
“Selah!!!” They would proclaim with both hands in the air, then they would bow all the way to the pavement. It seemed they had been worshiping like this for a very long time, perhaps all day and the night before. All 3 were clearly exhausted, and their bodies betrayed the full spectrum of the motions, but their intense devotion was unwaveringly directed despite their bodily aches. I could tell that the three seemed to be of south Indian descent. My curiosity was peaked. Where was I?
I looked at the building they seemed to be worshiping. It was octagonal in shape, and tall like a tower. My mind identified it as a hospital. And it was dirty, old and had old clothes seemingly strewn from the patios, 3rd-world-ish enough that I realized I might actually be in the South of India somewhere.
Following the devotional energy, I decided to go and inspect this hospital. However, when I got in, I discovered it was no more than an apartment or dormitory. The decorations, strewn clothes, smell of spices, generally dirty living conditions all made me feel like I was in India somewhere. And yet, no people. The place seemed utterly empty of inhabitants.
Suddenly, I was on a mission. Like a floating log down a current of river, I was captivate by a stream of invisible devotional energy that endlessly rose to the top floor of this ‘hospital’ – apartment-like holy place. I was on a mission to get to the top of this building – compelled by the outside worshipers’ prayers.
I climbed to the middle floor using the outside staircase that flanked each side of the building, and entered the residential hallway. I came to an apartment unit, in the middle of the building, that had no front door. I stopped to inspect the inside of this apartment, and went inside to look around – hoping that someone would come out to greet me and ask for me. Perhaps guide me.
Then a huge pack of about 1000 emerald-colored spiders all suddenly emerged, spilling out in droves from underneath a small armchair. Each spider was about the size of my palm, and had 2 diamond shaped markings, a shiny platinum color, on each side of their emerald green abdomens. As they began to surround me, I panicked, stomping my feet on ground in a brazen attempt to shoo them away – but it was in vain. I knew any one or 5 of them would have scurried at the deep hollow thrust of my feet against the ground, but these spiders were emboldened by their sheer numbers and called to each other that they had found a meal in my arrival.
They pressed ever closer around me. I was paralyzed, seemingly, as one spider, then another – then a handful at a time jumped 6-7 feet in the air to try to land on top of me to try to bring me down. Instead of waking up from the nightmarish experience, I changed perspectives as I often do in dream combat – looking down from above or afar in a 3rd person view rather than 1st person. I watched, powerless, from afar as my seated body was devoured by the host of spiders. The bones were all that remained after a very short time, then it all seemed to regenerate and I was myself again.
There was one very important difference in my body now: I was now only 3 1/2 feet tall!
I looked again at the scurrying, attacking, confused spiders – and picking one up I noticed that its body was a shiny nylon-like fabric material. “These are puppets,” I thought to myself, and the sense of powerlessness from the previous scene melted away. I was suddenly aware that I had passed the first test, and was allowed to ascend higher up the tower. I walked out of the room and continued up the apartment levels, but in search of what?
I went up 3/4 of the way to the top of the building, and came upon an older Indian woman. I was shocked to realize that she was the first human inhabitant of this place I had come across. And she was only 3 feet tall as well, but after my transformation with the spiders, we met eye to eye. My mind raced as I met her gaze: Was this a single residence? It was huge! Who could own a whole apartment building like this? Did she know about the spiders below? Were they her ‘puppets’?
The old woman had a test for me as well: She had a question she wanted answered. “Why are you here?” It was a warm-up. I didn’t even have to answer that one, she already knew I sought the top floor. Then she popped the big one: “How was the problem your fault?” The lacerating question made me feel extremely vulnerable, but after being purified by spider jaws, the fear of self-exposure wasn’t dominating me. I answered plainly how my actions contributed to some failure of my self or my team. She seemed satisfied with my honesty, and let me pass. Her advice to me on parting: “If they judge you for being self-effacing, do not blame yourself. They would have found a reason to judge you later anyway. Such honesty is really about being accountable to Heaven, not to man.”
I left her presence feeling both ashamed and confident: ashamed for my shortcomings, and confident in my ability to take greater responsibility for the chaos of my life.
I finally reached the top floor and met the master of the house. An old man, shorter than me even though I was only 3’5″, was there, wearing a white tunic and turban. He didn’t seem to notice or face me to interact in any way, so I instantly recognized my 3rd test, and decided to wait. To wait, where he could see me, but not to interrupt what he was doing, until such time he saw fit to acknowledge me. I don’t know if he did ever, but his energetic presence electrified some part of my being. Then I woke up.